Cisco’s new anthem: “Tomorrow Starts Here” with “The Internet of Everything!”

December 12, 2012

My perspective on Cisco’s new ad campaign. I’ll be blunt. It’s not a commercial yet. It’s what we call a “rip-o-matic.”  As such, it’s nicely done. But still.

For those unaware (or is it unawares?), a “rip” is a video put together by an agency to sell the “big idea” to a client. Often referred to as a manifesto or mantra, they are considered du rigueur in pitches and in the delivery of new campaigns. I have made dozens in my career. We all have.  Anthem videos are a great tool and I won’t sell them short. However, they are not commercials. They are more like commercials for commercials.  In a presentation we might use such a video to explain our strategy or set the stage for a new tagline.

Speaking of taglines that is another reason I’m nonplussed. Theirs: Tomorrow starts here. Gee whiz, I was wondering about that. Aren’t you weary of companies stating the future is right here right now? Trying to own the future is like saying you’re cool.  Show me. Which is what the creative should have done in lieu of a pedantic anthem.

Allow me a tangent. Certain random pieces of copy drive me bonkers. Not because they are loathsome clichés or shilling too hard but, oddly enough, because they are precious and unique. To a fault. Like when millennial hipster John Krasinski applies the made up word “coolish” in an Esurance commercial. Here it’s the phrase “The Internet of Everything.” I think they’re going for childlike wonder but it makes me cringe. In both cases I suddenly become aware of the copywriter and that bothers me. Maybe I’m alone in this. Maybe “The Internet of Everything” is coolish.

So, I’m wondering why Cisco and its famous ad agency opted for a piece of Wikipedia-like show and tell instead of good stories and remarkable feats. Perhaps the brand team fell in love with their baby too soon and birthed it prematurely? Lord knows it’s hard denying a client who loves something even if it isn’t cooked yet.

My guess is the real advertising will come soon enough.  Maybe tomorrow, which I’m told starts here.


2 Responses to “Cisco’s new anthem: “Tomorrow Starts Here” with “The Internet of Everything!””

  1. This blog post is “coolish” and very well written. It gives some great insight into the commercial world and what we expect from them. I love commercials to be intersting and different from the rest. That of course is every companys goal, to be unique and memorable. Some take the way of so far gone that you have to remember it and some take it way to serious. Thanks for the great post!

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